It's been awhile since my last post, and my internship is almost up! Where does the time go? Anyway, this week's post comes to you thanks to the previous Translator Newsletter from GV's Marianna Breytman. Have you read it? I love reading the newsletter's articles (I got extremely sidetracked by The Youngest Polyglot. The TED talk was fascinating!). In the newsletter, Marianna mentioned “As freelance translators, one of the most crucial aspects of our jobs — whether we like it or not — is marketing ourselves.” If you're anything like me, this task may seem daunting. After all, where do you even begin?
The answer, my friends, is networking! And there are a ton of ways to do it. For this article, though, I'd like to focus on the more common way to network joining translator organizations. Through translator organizations, associations, clubs, etc., one can access conferences, seminars, or even classes that will hone and update your translating skills, while also providing you numerous self-marketing opportunities. By joining, you gain access to a network of similar-minded translators who are open to discussing the industry with you, can help answer questions and can share their own experiences! It can also give you better access to potential clients, who may look to this network for their translation work. Or, being a member may simply help you to stand out from the crowd.
All in all, there are many potential benefits of joining such an organization. So consider this my brainstorming session on what kinds of organizations are out there. It's by no means exhaustive; in fact, it barely skims the surface! It's merely there to start the discussion. Before you join any organization, club, alliance, etc., you need to carefully consider its credentials, legitimacy, and your overall goals. What do you hope to gain from joining? What kind of people do you want to meet? What are your specific goals and interests, as they pertain to translating? Do they match up with this organization's goals? Will potential clients be more likely to come to you based on your membership? Will you be able to network with like-minded translators? Will it help you to create better business networks?
Research, research, and more research is key, but I think you'll find in the end that it is more than worth it. :)
1. Join an International Organization
There is the International Association of Professional Translators and Interpreters (IAPTI), which is an organization that promotes ethical and professional translations. Then there's the International Association for Translation and Intercultural Studies (IATI), which is more of a world-wide, organized forum. One thing to note, not all organizations require a fee or are geared around promoting and discussing the professional trade; if you would like to make a more direct impact on those in need of humanitarian translations, for example, then you could volunteer with Translators without Borders.
2. Join a National Organization
Joining a nationally acclaimed organization, such as the American Translator's Association (ATA), or Spain's La Asociación Española de Traductores, Correctores e Intérpretes (ASETRAD), can be a huge networking boost! I'm not sure about other national organizations, but in the USA, being certified by the ATA as a translator in your language pair is a pretty big deal.
Not sure what your country's top-rated organization is? Check out Wikipedia's list (this is where I found many of the names on this list).
3. Join a Specialized Organization
You can also join organizations that specialize in certain markets, like the National Association of Judiciary Interpreters and Translators (NAJIT), or the American Literary Translators Association (ALTA). These can be great places to sharpen your niche-market skills, as well as to talk with others who are just as interested as you in your chosen market!
4. Join an Online Translator's Forum
The ones that come first to mind are ProZ and WordReference.These places are fantastic when you just can't find the perfect word and need some help and guidance. To give back to the community for its help, you can also answer questions for others.
5.Join a Local Club or Organization
For meeting nearby translators, what could be better than joining a local group? If you live in Atlanta, for example, why not look into joining the Atlanta Association of Interpreters & Translators (AAIT)? Or maybe you live in Iowa – why not consider Iowa Interpreters and Translators Association (IITA)? There's the New England Translators Association (NETA), as well as numerous local chapters of the ATA.
There you go, the tip of the iceberg! Do you have any recommendations? Are there any organizations you really love? If so, please share in the comments below – I would love to hear from you! :D